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Why You Shouldn’t Do Physical Therapy On Your Own 

Physical therapy (PT) is a great way to reduce pain, recover from injury, and improve your physical health and quality of life. It can help with a variety of conditions, from chronic pain to post-operative rehabilitation. However, many people wonder if they can do physical therapy on their own. 

Some may think that this is more convenient and a better option than seeking out professional quality physical therapy — but this isn’t true. You should always seek out professional help and guidance when it comes to physical therapy. 

In this blog post, we’ll walk you through why you should never do PT on your own and why seeking out the best physical therapist in your area is always the better option for you and your health. 

Why You Shouldn’t Do PT On Your Own

It’s important for you to take the best care of yourself when injured or experiencing chronic pain, and while you may think doing PT on yourself could be the solution for you, we’re here to tell you that it’s not worth the risk. The truth is — it’s never a good idea to do physical therapy on your own. Doing so can make your pain worse or result in a terrible injury (which you definitely don’t want!)

Before looking for a physical therapist, it’s common for most people to feel as though they have tried everything to relieve their pain or heal their injury — but no matter what they try, nothing seems to be working. After trying remedy after remedy, you’re left feeling defeated and start to wonder if this pain is something you’re just going to have to learn how to deal with on a daily basis. This is usually when most people discover that physical therapy is the solution they’ve been looking for to reduce pain and win back their life. 

When seeking physical therapy, usually you’re looking for help in rehabilitation from an injury or could be experiencing chronic pain of some sort — back pain, neck pain, ankle pain, etc. Without the guidance of a professional physical therapist that has been certified and trained properly, you may not be doing the exercises correctly or even may be doing too much too soon. It’s essential that you do PT exercises correctly, or you run the risk of becoming injured. Having a professional physical therapist alongside you is key because they will make sure you’re performing the exercises correctly and will actively prevent you from becoming injured or making your chronic pain worse. 

We know it can seem appealing to try PT on your own. It’s convenient, you don’t have to leave your house, and you can do it on your own time. You feel as though you have the world at your fingertips through the internet, so you do your research, looking up exercises that help with the pain that you’re experiencing. But, we’re here to tell you that even as confident as you may seem in performing PT on your own without professional training — all it takes is one thing to go wrong to make your pain ten times worse than it was before. That’s all it takes – one wrong move can send you into agonizing pain and it’s just not worth it. 

Conclusion

As convenient as trying to do it on your own may seem, it’s just not worth the risk of injuring yourself. 

It’s important that you do what’s best for you and your body and seeking out the best physical therapist in your area is the best thing you can do for yourself. In the long run, you want to prevent anything from making your condition worse and the truth is, self-directed physical therapy is not the way to do so. 

We understand that it can be challenging to try and find a physical therapist on your own. That’s why we suggest doing your research, reading patient reviews, and contacting potential PTs with questions ready. 

Once you’ve talked to a PT, you’ll be able to tell from the first conversation if they’re able to help you with your specific condition or not. Then, once you find a PT that you feel comfortable with, you book an appointment and can take comfort in the fact that you have a certified, trained professional guiding you through. 

Don’t risk your health and well-being over something that a trained professional can help you fix. The right physical therapist will guide you through. Then, you can confidently return to living life on your own terms.

If you’re looking for a physical therapist in the Union, NJ be sure to contact us today for more information. We would love to talk to you about your condition and how we can help you finally feel better again. 

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How To Stick To Your New Year’s Resolutions

As the holiday season comes to a close, more and more people begin to think about their New Year’s resolutions. Whether starting a healthier diet, trying new hobbies, or traveling more, it is common for people to struggle with sticking with their resolution.

One of the most common resolutions people establish is starting a healthier lifestyle for weight loss or to improve their overall health. From the convenience of fast food to the cost of organic produce, it’s no wonder why keeping this resolution seems so difficult. However, despite the ongoing challenges of sticking to your New Year’s resolution, it is possible to achieve your goals of healthier eating and living.

Start by making one small promise to yourself every day and keeping it. Once you build that trust in yourself, you can make bigger promises and bigger commitments for your health. Let’s review some helpful tips and tricks to help you stick to your 2022 resolution and establish healthy habits for the new year.

Write Down Your 2022 Goals

Planning and writing out your New Year’s resolutions is critical. Physically writing down your goals gives you something to reference throughout the year and helps keep you organized.

Establishing a goal only serves as a small part of achieving it. Planning out your new habits will help you determine how and when you can achieve your goals. It helps to plan out your new dietary habits and workout routines when losing weight.

By writing down your 2022 health goals, you have a convenient and physical reference for the rest of the year to help keep you on track and achieve your weight gain or loss goals.

Lose Weight With Better Eating Habits

When it comes to losing weight, changing your diet is key. Sticking to a whole foods diet remains one of the best ways to achieve weight loss and improve overall health. A whole foods diet includes brown rice, lean protein, fruits and vegetables, whole grain bread, and other nutrient-rich foods.

Incorporating healthier meals into your daily routine is not only beneficial for your weight goals but also for your overall health. For example, including fresh fruits, whole grains, and other healthy products into your daily diet helps to reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

Eat Better for the New Year

One of the biggest challenges people face when establishing healthier eating habits is avoiding fast food. Quick service restaurants make it easy for people with busy schedules to eat a quick meal. Despite the convenience, too much of these fried foods and packaged foods can contribute to various health complications like heart disease.

Meal planning helps those with busy schedules eat healthier throughout the week without going to the local drive-thru. For meal prep, switch up your recipes with various types of whole wheat pasta, fruits, and other healthy items. When you go to the grocery store, try to avoid high-sodium microwave meals or sugary snacks.

Try New Healthy Recipes

One of the biggest misconceptions about eating healthy stems from the idea that you don’t get to enjoy your food. With the right recipes, healthy foods can turn into favorite meals and help you lose weight in the new year.

When putting together a grocery list for the week, try to include some of your favorite healthy food items. Find seasonal recipes online that swap out white bread and white pasta for whole grains. By making half of your plate vegetables and including various types of proteins, you can create healthy yet delicious meals.

You will find thousands of healthy recipes to enjoy when looking to eat better. A popular recipe is baked lemon pepper chicken. Simply coat a serving of chicken breast in lemon juice, black pepper, and olive oil to create a low-calorie yet delicious and guilt-free meal.

Combine Healthy Eating With Regular Exercise

When it comes to establishing fitness-related resolutions, you need to do more than eat healthily. Regular exercise is critical for overall health. Most physicians recommend that you get at least 30 minutes of activity every day.

A good rule for daily exercise is participating in an activity for 30 minutes that raises your heart rate. This could include long walks, runs, weightlifting, swimming, or anything else that gets your heart beating faster.

By combining healthier meals with regular exercise and staying consistent, you can establish better health habits for 2022.

Sticking to your 2022 New Year’s resolutions can be challenging, but with the right support, you can achieve your health and fitness goals. Let the Progressive Edge Physical Therapy in Union, NJ help you establish healthier habits by calling 201-563-8418.

Can Craniosacral Therapy Improve Long COVID Symptoms?

With the COVID-19 virus infecting millions of people worldwide, finding an effective treatment is more important than ever. Thankfully, most people recover from COVID-19 after a few weeks.

For some patients, recovering from the virus does not always mean getting rid of the symptoms. Long haul COVID symptoms affect about 10% of COVID patients. With long COVID or post-COVID syndrome, patients can experience lingering symptoms for weeks or months following their recovery.

Living with long COVID often means having to deal with a variety of symptoms. While some patients seek relief from their symptoms through medication, others turn to natural options, such as craniosacral therapy.

Craniosacral therapy includes a hands-on treatment to help patients alleviate pain, headaches, and other physical ailments. Now, many healthcare providers recommend that patients living with long COVID try the healing and pain-relief effects of craniosacral therapy.

What Is Craniosacral Physical Therapy?

Craniosacral physical therapy, or CST, is a form of occupational therapy that focuses on relieving pain through light pressure on the nervous system. CST sessions are similar to a traditional massage appointment; however, the patients keep their clothes on.

During a craniosacral physical therapy appointment, the physical therapist applies light pressure to various areas around the spine, neck, and head. Doing so helps the physical therapist find fascial system disruptions, which could be contributing to pain symptoms. The fascial system is a layer of strong, stretchy tissue that holds the muscles, blood vessels, and nerves.

Physical therapists use CST sessions to help the patient relax. The aim is to help the patient find relief by relaxing the muscles and finding pain points.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Craniosacral Therapy?

One of the benefits of craniosacral therapy is that it addresses many physical ailments. For example, several patients suffering from chronic pain, fibromyalgia, migraines, and multiple sclerosis find relief by attending craniosacral therapy sessions. Other candidates for the therapy include patients with epilepsy and stroke.

What Are the Long-Term Effects of COVID?

Unfortunately, COVID patients can continue to feel the effects of the virus for weeks after their recovery. Patients suffering from long COVID symptoms are also called long haulers.

Long haulers can experience several different symptoms.

  • Significant fatigue or tiredness
  • Brain fog
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Fever
  • Body aches and pains
  • Post-exertion malaise
  • Lack of smell or taste
  • Struggles with physical activity

Although older patients appear more likely to suffer the persistent symptoms of long COVID, these long-term consequences can affect anyone of any age.

How Can a Physical Therapist Use Craniosacral Therapy To Help Patients With Long COVID?

Several of the common symptoms of long COVID involve pain or discomfort. Many patients living with long COVID claim to find significant relief with craniosacral therapy.

Along with pain relief, craniosacral therapy aims to help patients improve their activity levels. Fatigue remains one of the most common symptoms among long COVID survivors, preventing them from performing their usual activities throughout the day or spending extended periods of time in bed.

Many COVID-19 patients can improve mobility through exercise interventions and graded exercise therapy. Physical therapists can examine their patients’ mobility by using the six-minute walk test and helping them perform various exercises. Patients with long COVID should consult their physician before scheduling a craniosacral therapy appointment.

Craniosacral therapy for COVID aims to provide patient care that relieves headaches, body aches, and other common symptoms. However, craniosacral therapy is not a traditional long COVID treatment and needs more research to determine true outcome measures.

Craniosacral Physical Therapists in Union, NJ

Although craniosacral therapy still requires additional health research, many patients and long COVID survivors find pain and fatigue relief through this therapeutic treatment. Progressive Edge Physical Therapy helps patients around Union, NJ with various health-related issues.

Our clinic values the safety of our patients and health care professionals, which is why we ask that everyone follow the Center for Disease Control, or CDC, guidelines for COVID-19 safety procedures.

When it comes to the benefits of physical therapy, long COVID patients can find significant relief that puts them on the path to recovery. If you have spent time dealing with the lasting effects of COVID-19, call the Progressive Edge Physical Therapy in Union, NJ at 201-563-8418 to schedule an appointment and learn more about our services.

How to Adapt Your Exercise for Colder Weather

As we start experiencing the chilly weather of winter or the hot weather of summer, you’ll need to change your exercise routine to match—especially if you’re fond of outdoor workouts. Monitoring the seasonal changes is essential to building healthy habits and maintaining your fitness level.

For more information about how to stay healthy throughout the year, call our team of physical therapists and personal trainers atProgressive Edge Physical Therapy LLC In Union NJ at 201-563-8418.

Do a Warm Up First

Dynamic warm-ups get the blood pumping to your muscles and reduce the risk of injury when exercising in the cold. Depending on your exercise routine, you need to stretch out the muscles you focus on. For runners, warming up might include bodyweight lunges, squats, arm swings, and core exercises.

Try not to confuse warming up with static stretches, though. You need to keep moving to increase your heart rate.

Drink Up

Some people feel less thirsty when working out in cooler weather than hotter weather, but drinking water while working out in chilly temperatures is essential. Your body tends to absorb more liquid while exercising.

However, you should also be sure to stay hydrated in the heat too. The hot weather stresses your body out a lot. Both air temperature and humidity increase your core temperature. If possible, limit your exposure to the elements, but always bring water with you when exercising outdoors.

Dehydration

Dehydration is a major factor for heat illnesses and can even require medical attention. When you exercise, your body sends more blood through your body’s surface to keep you cool. This leaves less blood for your muscles and increases your heart rate, so staying hydrated is key to an effective, healthy workout.

Avoid alcoholic drinks if you’re exercising regularly because they actually reduce blood circulation and cause dehydration to occur faster.

Remove Layers as You Heat Up

When you feel your core body temperature dropping, it’s time to start layering. Regardless of your exercise intensity, you need to stay warm during your entire workout.

High temperatures increase your blood flow and help you stay active without hurting yourself. The cold air is harder to breathe since your body needs to heat it up before extracting the oxygen.

However, being too hot is a risk, even in cooler temperatures. As you start to sweat from your outdoor exercise, you need to monitor your body for signs of overheating. Retaining too much heat can cause heat cramps, dizziness, fatigue, and other symptoms.

Check Your Traction

Winter workouts can get slippery very quickly when snow or rain is involved. Slipping on an icy road can lead to injuries such as brain damage. Try to ensure that you always stay in plowed and salted areas, especially if your workout takes you into the streets. If possible, avoid working out while it is actively raining or snowing.

Staying off of the main roads is often a good idea, but back roads can pose hidden threats from snow or rain. You can avoid some of these by using ice spikes on your shoes to create more traction and prevent slips.

If biking is part of your exercise routine, map out your route beforehand and choose well-maintained roads. Roads in residential areas are usually ideal because the city quickly plows and salts them after a storm. They’re also typically in better shape than less frequented roads, so you can avoid road hazards like potholes during your ride.

Protect Your Skin

Even when it’s cloudy, the sun’s UV rays can damage your skin. When it snows, your skin absorbs even more UV rays. Always remember to wear sunscreen and reapply it as needed.

A Skin Cancer Foundation study found that sunlight exposure can increase 4 to 5% per 10,000 feet of elevation. If you’re heading to the mountains, be extra cautious.

Don’t Forget to Cool Down

Warming up before you exercise is vital, but it is just as essential to remember your cooldowns at the end.

A cool down is similar to a warm-up— you perform lighter movements than during your normal routine. This allows your heart and muscles to slow down and work out the lactic acid produced from exercise to avoid soreness the next day.

If you have spent most of your workout doing cardio, switching to strength training as you wrap up your workout can help you make the most of your time. A personal trainer can craft a custom plan for cooling down your body, which may involve gentle stretches and using ice packs to soothe sore muscles.

Improve Your Cold Weather Workouts

To stay in shape in heat or cold weather, contact our team of physical therapists at Progressive Edge Physical Therapy LLC In Union NJ at 201-563-8418 for a consultation. We’ll help you live your healthiest life!

How to Stay Active During the Holidays

The holidays are often a hectic time. Planning activities, decorating, and buying gifts can take up so much energy that staying active often seems like a far-off dream. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. With a few wellness tips in mind, you can incorporate exercise into your holiday events without needing a certified personal trainer.

For more information about how to stay healthy during the holiday season, call us here atProgressive Edge Physical Therapy LLC In Union NJ at 201-563-8418.

Make Time with Family Members Active

You’ll be spending a lot of the winter season with your family and friends, so turning some of that time into workouts can be a fun diversion. Invite your family out on a walk to enjoy the morning or take an evening stroll.

Arrange a Photoshoot

A photoshoot may not be intense physical activity, but it’s certainly better than nothing. You or someone else can bring their camera to snap some festive shots of everyone. It’s a fun way to enjoy everyone’s company while you stay fit.

Plan Ahead

Just make sure that you plan for everyone’s skill level. If you’re including young children or older adults, you might need to focus less on going quickly and more on finding convenient places to stop and rest. No matter how slow you take it, you’re still getting exercise.

Visit the Local Park

Hitting the gym isn’t the only way to work on your fitness. Going for a walk around your local park is a fun way to spend an afternoon during the holidays when everyone is together. Plus, you’ll be setting a great example for younger relatives on how to stay active in life. Try going during the week to avoid the crowds.

Check Out the Zoo

If you’ve been missing your workouts but need to spend time with everyone for the holidays, look up your closest zoo. Plenty of zoos have special holiday events, even at night. Check online for their holiday schedule and book tickets in advance. You and your friends can roam around taking pictures of exotic animals while you get that workout in.

Shop at the Mall

While the mall may be jam-packed during the holiday season, it’s never too late to finish shopping. Walking around the mall for a few hours is actually a great way to get some steps in. Try taking some friends on a shopping trip and enjoy the walk.

Go on a Tour

If you and your loved ones are traveling for the holidays, take advantage of the new scenery. Book a walking tour or two around your destination. Not only will you get some exercise in, but you’ll also have a blast learning about the place you’re visiting.

Consider Everyone’s Needs

Make sure that you schedule tours that are accessible for your whole family. Booking a tour designed for someone with a high fitness level likely won’t go over well with Grandma and Grandpa. As long as you keep track of everyone’s health, you’re going to have a fantastic time.

Go Abroad or Stay at Home

You don’t need to go anywhere special for a tour, either. A staycation is the perfect time to get out and see what makes your hometown special. You don’t have to do something every day if you want to sleep in, but exploring your town can be a ton of fun. You might find some places you never knew existed.

Give the Gift of Workout Clothes

Staying fit doesn’t have to mean wearing old baggy sweats. If you and a family member are committed to improving your health with a workout routine, then why not agree to give them some awesome activewear? Having some clothes you feel good in can motivate you both to stick to your fitness routine.

Take a Family Bike Ride

Instead of eating more at the holiday party, invite your loved ones to join you on a communal bike ride. It’s a great way to maintain your exercise routine and get everyone excited for fitness. There are even places where you can rent tandem bikes if you want to really bond with everyone.

Healthy Eating Habits

Your health is tied to your weight, which means you need to be careful at parties and other events. However, you shouldn’t deny your cravings. Just ensure that you eat the foods you want in moderation. When you satisfy your urge for your favorite holiday dishes, you won’t lose control and binge eat later.

More Holiday Season Wellness Tips

The American Council of Exercise recommends focusing on small lifestyle changes to stay fit. With all of that in mind, why not contact us atProgressive Edge Physical Therapy LLC In Union NJ at 201-563-8418 for a consultation? We’ll give you the gift of a healthy life!

How to Increase Mileage Safely While Running

Every runner wants to increase their overall mileage. Unfortunately, many beginner runners let their enthusiasm override their body’s needs. As a result, they may develop running injuries that cut their miles per week down to zero.

Building mileage takes time, consistency, and workouts to improve your stamina. You don’t have to wait months to see results, though. With a few weeks of regular training, you can build mileage and become a stronger, faster runner.

Our team of physical therapists at Progressive Edge Physical Therapy created the ultimate guide to adding mileage while minimizing your risk of injuries. Read on for everything you need to know about optimal training load, raising your baseline mileage, and using training cycles to enhance your workouts.

How to Safely Increase Mileage

We know how much you love running. We love it, too, and we understand how exciting it is to push your boundaries and beat your record run.

Rather than dramatically increasing your training volume and causing overuse injuries, consider our top three tips for expanding your running mileage healthily and sustainably.

1. Listen to Your Body

Your body speaks to you, even if you don’t take time to listen. When it comes to achieving a higher mileage, though, you should be all ears.

Find the balance between exertion and recovery when working toward a mileage increase. You can easily boost your mileage by 15 to 20% one week, only to discover that your base mileage feels challenging the next.

2. Don’t Push Your Limits to the Point of Injury

At Progressive Edge Physical Therapy, we’re all about helping you reach your maximum potential. Still, we know that runners — especially injury-prone runners — are at a higher risk when chasing the next great runner’s high.

Most runners injure themselves by increasing their mileage too quickly. The physical strain places extra stress on your body, while the intense training schedule doesn’t give your body time to recover.

To minimize the risk of injury, focus on training plans with:

·         A realistic workload

·         A comfortable starting point

·         At least one long run per week

For example, you might increase your mileage by 10 to 15% one day per week compared to the week before.

Most importantly, prioritize recovery weeks and lower-mileage runs throughout your training cycle to give your body time to adjust to the additional workload.

3. Incorporate Strength Training to Build Endurance

All too often, our clients tell us, “Running is my only workout.” While we admire the dedication to hitting the pavement, trail, or treadmill, even the most elite runner needs more than daily jogs to stay healthy.

Cross-training, or mixing strength and endurance exercises into your daily training schedule, can help:

  • Align your body
  • Improve speed
  • Prevent injuries

Resistance exercises help strengthen and stabilize your muscles, joints, and connective tissues, while compound movements enhance mobility and agility. 

What Are the Best Strength Training Exercises for Increasing Mileage?

Runners need an integrated combination of targeted and compound movements to improve coordination, boost speed, and rack up higher miles per week. That said, you don’t need an exercise science degree to create customized, high-quality workouts.

Instead, build your workouts around simple, easily-mastered movements, such as:

  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Deadlifts
  • Planks
  • Push-ups

You can stick with the familiar variants or mix up your movements to keep your workouts fresh, your muscles challenged, and your training routine energized. Try adding cross-training workouts into your routine three to five times per week, then substitute the exercises for a walk, yoga class, or another low-impact activity during your recovery week.

Should I Increase Weekly Running Mileage by 10%?

Avid runners worldwide swear by the “Golden Rule” of running. According to the guideline, both novice and elite runners should only increase their weekly mileage by 10% to prevent injury. However, like any running advice, you should take it with a grain of salt.

Instead of rigidly following the 10% rule, start with a consistent, low mileage plan for at least a month. As you add more mileage, tailor your sessions to suit your schedule.

Creating a Training Plan to Meet Your Running Goals

At Progressive Edge Physical Therapy, we know that every runner is training for their next record-breaking long run. That’s why we commit ourselves to strengthening, healing, and rehabilitating athletes at every level.

If you’re ready to increase your mileage safely and sustainably, we can help. For more information on our physical therapy, rehabilitative services, and training programs, please contact our Progressive Edge Physical Therapy team today at 201-563-8418.

Exercise During Pregnancy: Safe or Unsafe?

If you’re currently expecting, you probably feel tired and achy from carrying the extra weight of your baby. As a result, you’re probably not thinking about exercise during pregnancy.

In reality, staying active can benefit your pregnancy in numerous ways. Our experienced staff of physical therapists at Progressive Edge Physical Therapy created this guide to help you feel strong and confident when exercising during your pregnancy.

For more information or to schedule a pregnancy exercise program consultation with our team, please get in touch with us today at 201-563-8418.

Is It Safe for Pregnant Women to Exercise?

Generally, it’s perfectly safe for pregnant women to exercise as long as they get the green light from their health care provider. Most doctors provide medical advice recommending at least 30 minutes of exercise each day to maintain a healthy pregnancy and prepare your body for labor.

That said, every woman — and every pregnancy — is different. Your doctor may not recommend exercising if you have a pregnancy complication or health condition, such as:

●        Certain types of heart or lung disease

●        High blood pressure that develops during pregnancy

●        Chronic vaginal bleeding in the second or third trimesters

●        Cervical or placenta problems

●        Preterm labor during your pregnancy

●        Anemia

Even if your doctor approves physical activity during your pregnancy, you should keep an eye out for common warning signs, such as bleeding, pain, dizziness, or chest pain.

How Does Pregnancy Affect Exercise?

As you already know, your body changes significantly during pregnancy. Each change can impact your ability to stay physically active, too. With this in mind, consider the following before beginning a prenatal workout plan.

●        Balance: Your body’s center of gravity shifts as your baby grows, putting more pressure on the joints and muscles in your lower back and pelvis. You’re also less stable and may lose your balance or fall.

●        Joints: Your body produces hormones during pregnancy, which relax the ligaments in your joints to make labor and delivery easier. However, the enhanced flexibility can cause injuries.

●        Breathing: While pregnant, your body needs more oxygen. Exercising helps improve oxygen levels and blood flow in your body, but it also redirects oxygen and blood to your muscles and away from other areas. Because of this, you may not be able to do high-intensity exercises.

Benefits of a Prenatal Exercise Program

Regular exercise during pregnancy can give you countless benefits for you and your baby, including:

●        Easier birth process

●        Faster recovery following a C-section or vaginal birth

●        Reduced discomfort

●        Enhanced relaxation

●        Lower risk of complications, such as gestational diabetes

●        Lessened chance of a cesarean birth

●        Improved overall wellbeing

Don’t expect to lose weight while pregnant, though. Instead, focus on maintaining your physical fitness, reducing discomfort, improving sleep, and minimizing excess weight gain to support a healthy, safe pregnancy and delivery.

“I Only Need to Do Kegels, and I’ll be Good, Right?”

At Progressive Edge Physical Therapy, our clients often ask us if they need to do more than pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy. You should strengthen your pelvic floor muscles with Kegels and breathing exercises. However, incorporating additional prenatal-safe routines throughout your pregnancy is essential.

Creating a Safe Prenatal Exercise Routine

Ready to start your prenatal workout routine? If you haven’t exercised in a while, we recommend taking it slow. Start with as few as ten minutes of exercise, and gradually increase to 30 minutes per day. If you exercise regularly, you can typically maintain the same level of exertion as long as you feel comfortable and have doctor approval.

We recommend focusing on exercises that engage your abdominal muscles, pelvic region, and lower body, such as:

●        Prenatal yoga

●        Pilates

●        Walking

●        Stationary biking

●        Swimming

Exercises to Avoid During Pregnancy

Your doctor may have cleared you for exercise, but that doesn’t mean you can always continue your favorite pre-pregnancy workouts. Some exercises can cause complications, such as mild abdominal trauma and other concerns as your pregnancy progresses.

Keep yourself and your baby safe by AVOIDING exercises that include:

●        Lying flat on your back for long periods after the first trimester

●        Waist-twisting movements

●        Extensive jumping

●        Contact sports

●        Falling risks

●        Heated classes, like hot yoga or Pilates

Tips for Exercising During Pregnancy from the Experts at Progressive Edge Physical Therapy

Frequent exercise during pregnancy can improve your energy, mood, and overall wellbeing as you prepare for labor. Even so, many women aren’t sure where to start.

Our team at Progressive Edge Physical Therapy works with you to develop a safe workout plan that evolves with your pregnancy. For more information or to schedule a consultation, please contact us today atFor more information or to schedule a pregnancy exercise program consultation with our team, please get in touch with us today at 201-563-8418.

Three Questions to Ask Yourself Before Getting Hip or Knee Replacement Surgery

So, you’re thinking about knee or hip replacement surgery… it’s a big decision. Alongside getting a mortgage, starting a family, and walking your children down the aisle, major surgery is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your lifetime. And yet… have you thought about it much? Have you thought about what surgery will mean for you in the future, for your family, or for your mobility? There’s a lot at stake. It takes careful consideration, and oftentimes you’ll need to ask yourself some hard hitting questions. We know it isn’t easy, and it can feel as though you just don’t know where to start. But, don’ worry, we’re here to help. Keep reading to see three of the most important questions you need to ask yourself before undergoing knee or hip replacement surgery.

Have you tried more conservative methods other than surgery? 

Sometimes it feels as though knee or hip surgery is the only option, and more often than not this feeling is a result of months or years of accumulated, constant pain. You just want to make it disappear, right? Well, the thing is, you have to ask yourself if you’ve tried every possible alternative before going under the scalpel,  as hard as that may be right now. Why? Well, surgery can be life altering in many different ways and, sadly, it may not even solve the problem in the end. So, ask yourself, have you tried more conservative methods? What about physical therapy? 

Physical therapy is the most effective and safest way of treating knee and hip pain without undergoing surgery. Why? Well, it’s not invasive in the least and it actually treats the root cause of the problem. In other words, physical therapy doesn’t just treat the pain, it treats the actual issue in order to facilitate permanent health and wellbeing. Surgery just cannot do this. Doesn’t that sound so much better than painkillers and a scar?

Have you been told knee or hip replacement surgery is your only option… by your surgeon?

Sadly, all too many knee and hip replacement surgeries are undertaken at the behest of a single person… usually the surgeon. Though shocking, this is more common than you think, as most surgeries are never queried for a second opinion or an alternative treatment. Again, this is largely due to accumulated pain and frustration on the part of the patient – all he/she wants is for the pain to disappear.  

Yet, it is absolutely vital that each suggestion for a surgery is followed up by a second opinion. Why? Well, because hip or knee surgery is a life-altering decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly.  The best authority to offer you an unbiased, professional one is a physical therapist. Physical therapists aim to treat the root cause of the problem so that you do not have to live in pain – his/her opinion will always follow an in-depth consultation and diagnosis, and will always have your best interests at heart. You will get the answers you need in order to make an informed decision about your surgery.  If you could be treated without the trauma of surgery, wouldn’t you want to know if that’s an option?

Is surgery really your last hope, or is a nonsurgical option still on the table?

Surgery should always be your absolute last option – there is no going back from the operating table, and anything changed, altered, or hurt during your surgery cannot be undone. That’s why it’s imperative that you take every precaution to avoid undergoing the knife. 

Physical therapy can put your mind at ease about your decision, as qualified, professional physical therapists will be able to fully comprehend your issue. If physical therapy can treat the cause, eradicate the pain, and get you back to living the pain free life you deserve to live, isn’t it worth a try? A life without painkillers, daily debilitating pain, post-surgical trauma, and the possibility of re-occurring issues down the line truly is a possibility for you – don’t give up, physical therapy really can help you. 

Too many people think of physical therapy as the ‘after care’ for surgery. Most individuals think of physical therapists as those who teach patients how to regain mobility after undergoing invasive operations. While this may be the truth in part, physical therapy is a lot more involved than the last phase of a surgical cycle. 

In fact, physical therapy is much more interested in keeping you away from the operating table. In other words, physical therapy is much more about preventative medicine than anything else. If you are able to increase your mobility now, to treat the root cause of the problem now, to achieve a pain free life now… wouldn’t that be amazing? And that’s exactly what physical therapy does. Yes, physical therapy helps individuals recover from surgery, but the most incredible thing about physical therapy is that is can help keep those individuals out of the hospital theatre in the first place! 

If you’re reading this and thinking… “Why haven’t I tried physical therapy yet?”, then I hope you are now considering reaching out. There is absolutely nothing to lose… while there is everything to gain. For treatment that finds and treats the root cause of your problem, that offers professional, hands-on advice and care, for an ongoing program of stretches and exercise that helps you maintain a pain free life at home, and for access to a more mobile, energetic, and pain free life, physical therapy is the answer. 

Ask yourself the above questions, be honest, and then come back to a space where surgery is the last option. Don’t make a decision you’ll regret – reach out now and chat with one of our hands-on, professional, friendly physical therapists in order to start getting the answers you need and deserve in order to live the life you’ve been dreaming of. 

Working from Home with Low Back Pain? Don’t Fear! Here’s what to do.

As we move through these unprecedented times, we’re faced with new issues every day. These teething problems may include installing a hand-wash timer in the bathroom, packing the dishwasher more often, or planning meals further in advance than you normally would. One other problem that may not have caught your attention yet is back health. Working from home, and spending so much more time on the sofa or in bed, can wreak havoc on your back in the long term. It’s absolutely vital that you take care of your back and prevent low back pain from taking hold of your life. Luckily, we’re here to help. Take a look at some of these helpful tips to stave off low back pain and keep you fit and healthy as you tackle the other, non-physical issues around you. 

Posture and Low Back Support

Low back health relies heavily upon the correct posture and low back support you employ throughout the day. Posture may not be something you think about consciously, but it’s very important to start taking notice of the way you sit, stand, lie down, and relax on the sofa: the little things can make all the difference. Make sure you don’t slouch; keep you chin up and your shoulders aligned. Also, be aware of the support you give your lower back when you sit: roll up a towel, or use a small cushion to provide extra support in the small of your back. If you do this consistently, you’ll start noticing how much better your lower back responds to daily activity – you’ll mitigate any pain you may have experienced. 

Chair Setup

Working from home in the COVID-19 era has changed the dynamics of the way we view our desks. Some people have a dedicated desk, while others use the kitchen table or even the coffee table in the living room! Things have changed drastically. At the end of the day, though, it’s incredibly important to make your ‘office’ as ergonomic as possible. In other words, the way you sit, and the chair you sit on, need to be supportive of back health. Make sure your chair is high enough to align the computer with your direct line of site. Make sure your chin doesn’t dip, that you don’t slouch, and that the chair offers you vital low back support. See the above tip regarding small towels or cushions. Your back will thank you!

Strengthening Exercises

You may not realize how important strengthening exercises are for the health of your lower back. Even less obvious is that your core muscles are actually vital in keeping your back pain free! Doing core exercises, that is, strengthening your core muscles safely over time, is one of the best ways to stave off low back pain well into the future. Why not try doing some Pilates or yoga routines to start working on your muscle strength? You can also contact a dedicated physical therapist to find out about what sort of exercises would benefit you the most. 

Computer Layout

As I’ve mentioned, your office space setup is very important. If you’re working from a desktop, make sure your screen is high up enough to be aligned with your direct eye-line. Do not dip your chin or slouch. Make sure you have lower back support and always sit with your feet squarely on the ground, with your knees at a 90 or 100 degree angle. Do not lean forward – make sure the screen is close/far enough for you. If you’re working on a laptop, make sure you place it on a table and are able to follow the same tips outlined for a desktop set-up. Working with a laptop on your lap means you may slouch and place pressure on your shoulders and low back – be sure to sit up straight in order to have a productive, pain free day. 

Break time

Give yourself well deserved breaks: get up, stretch, move around, and get yourself out in the open air. Ideally, you want to stay at your computer for no longer than 50 minutes at a time – it’s very important to stay mobile throughout the day in order to avoid your lower back muscles from stiffening and seizing. Make the effort to get moving!

Stretch

Stretching your muscles keeps them lubricated and supple, thereby allowing you to have pain free days! It’s very important that you spend time stretching your lower back muscles throughout the day, especially if you spend the majority of it at a desk. Contact a professional physical therapist for advice on where to begin and how to get into the swing of your very own stretching routine. 

Keep Hydrated

Last, but certainly not least, is staying hydrated. Not drinking enough water can not only lead to muscle fatigue, but can actually hamper your overall cognition and health, too. Aim to drink at least 8, 8oz glasses of water a day, and make sure you incorporate some movement when you sip away!

Low back pain can be tricky to understand, and during these times it’s very difficult to know what to do and what not to do in order to stay away from it. Luckily, we’re here to help. Physical therapy is the safest, easiest, and most effective way of not only treating back pain, but of making sure you avoid it in the future. If you’re unsure about the types of stretches you need to be doing, what physical activities would best benefit your back health, how to set up your workspace, or even about where to start with any of the tips in this post, then we invite you contact one of our dedicated, hands-on physical therapists rights now. For advice you can trust, and information that will help you on the road to a healthier, pain-free life, physical therapy is the answer. Why not contact us to book a complimentary, non-obligatory discovery visit, right now? We look forward to hearing from you soon!

How Staying Active and Mobile Can Prevent Injuries Down the Line

The last few months have really been life changing: from increased time with close family, to frequent frozen pizzas and Netflix binges. We’ve all witnessed the world around us changing at an alarming pace and, if we’re brutally honest, most of us have been doing so from the comfort of our sofas. No blame, just fact. As the world has seen unprecedented changes, we’ve also seen changes to our bodies. Yeah, you guessed it – all that sitting has led to some pretty stiff muscles and achingly sparse fitness routines. So, I think you’ve probably guessed by now that this post is all about how staying active and healthy can not only help you achieve optimum health, right now, but can also prevent injuries down the line. Think of our upcoming advice as a friendly reminder to turn that TV off, get those trainers on, and to go outside and smell the daisies! 

So, let’s start with the very real consequences of leading a largely sedentary life. First off, extended periods of immobility cause muscles to start deteriorating. Yikes. And in many ways this is as bad as it sounds. Deteriorated muscles not only fail to bolster metabolism, thereby causing unwanted and unexpected weight gain, they also invite injuries your way in the future. Why? Well, weak muscles are incapable of offering real, meaningful support, thereby leaving your body exposed to injury in a very real way. And no – lifting that pizza box and can of cola doesn’t really support muscle growth – give quarantine a make-over. 

Let’s chat about how you can get out of the quarantine induced funk and back into a healthy, mobile lifestyle. Eventually, the extended periods of staying at home will catch up with you, so it’s important to tackle sedentary behaviors head on before it’s too late. 

I know you’re thinking you may have to do a 60-minute fat burner workout in day one, but the truth is, you just may not be ready! In fact, you may have been Dwayne Johnson before lockdown, but that doesn’t mean you’re now able to do the same activities as before. Long periods of being sedentary would have affected your body in such a way so as to weaken muscles and throw your strength off. It is, therefore, very important to start at a point where you feel comfortable. Don’t push yourself beyond your current limits – don’t think you’re able to jump straight back in where you left off before lockdown – because the truth is, you could seriously injure yourself. Take it easy, give yourself a break, and get back on the horse using the stirrups.

Why are we continuously telling you do be active, though? Isn’t walking the dog and making a few trips up the stairs enough? Well – no. It may be alright for a weekend, but long-term it can wreak absolute havoc on your body. Fitness and mobility should never be underestimated, as you are only as young as you keep your body. Stretching, exercising, and eating the proper nutrition is absolutely essential when it comes to dodging injuries and illness. The longer you remain sedentary, the more likely you are to experience injury and potential chronic, debilitating pain. Keeping your body mobile, limber, and active, means you have a much better chance of reaching an older age without physical problems. 

Why not start small – take a walk, do a 15 minute home workout session, try Pilates or yoga, or how about going for a swim? Make small changes to ensure big rewards. You can push yourself harder as you progress, but make sure to train your muscles from the beginning in order to prevent injury. 

Granted, it’s not always easy to know how where start, though. It may be that your inactivity has caused you to be more immobile than you imagined, thereby ruling out exercises you may previously have done. It may even be that quarantine has given you the time to think about your life and you now want to jumpstart your health by getting into a fitness routine, yet you have no idea where to start. Alternately, you may even have been injured during this time and you just long to be able to move without pain as you once could – you just don’t know where to begin. All of these motivations are valid, and the trepidation you may be feeling is normal. Knowing where to start can be incredibly daunting, but luckily that’s where we come in!

Now, I know what you’re thinking: how can physical therapy possibly help me become active? Well, that’s a good question… and the answer may surprise you. Physical therapy is about a lot more than the eradication of pain. In fact, physical therapy aims to increase mobility and physical health via the specialized treatment of pain and the administering of tailor made exercises and stretches. You see, whether you are in pain now or not, if you aren’t moving, then it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll experience pain later in your life. We’re here to show you how to move, and not only that, but how to do it correctly in order to safeguard your body from injury. 

Whether you’re looking to ditch bad quarantine habits, or whether you’re just ready for a change, we’re here to help. And, if you’re in pain and are looking for a way out of your situation, we can give you the answers and treatment you need. Don’t let the pain get you down, and don’t let extended periods of lockdown in your home prevent you from moving your body in a healthy, safe way. It’s time to make a change. We want to help you, right now, and that’s why we invite you to contact one of our friendly, supportive, professional, hands-on physical therapists, today. Get the answers, advice, and treatment you need, and let’s get moving together!